Posts Tagged ‘halloween party ideas’

September 19th, 2012

Halloween Owl Beanbag Toss Buckets

Halloween Beanbag Toss Bucket for Halloween PartiesPlanning a Halloween party for a classroom or at home? This fun and easy craft from Better Homes and Gardens offers hours of fun from beginning the craft to playing the game.

What You’ll Need

  • Clean, empty 1-gallon paint cans (available at crafts stores)
  • Assorted scrapbooking papers, fabric ribbon, and trims
  • Solid and textured wool felt (brown and yellow)
  • Orange paper
  • Mod Podge decoupage medium
  • Glue gun and hotmelt adhesives
  • Fabric glue
  • 1-inch circle paper punch
  • Circle paper punches or circle stencils
  • Googly eyes in two different sizes
  • Number stencils

How to Make It

Note: To attach various materials to the can: Use decoupage medium to adhere paper, use a glue gun and hotmelt adhesive to secure ribbon, and use fabric glue to attach fabric pieces.

  1. Download free owl pattern. Click here.
  2. Cut two pieces of scrapbooking paper to wrap around the can. Before attaching the paper, draw around the handle of the can and punch or cut half-circles in the scrapbooking paper on each side for the handle.
  3. Adhere the paper around the can, aligning the half-circles with the handle. Glue fabric ribbons and trims around the top and bottom of the can.
  4. For the owl shape, trace the body and tail pattern onto brown felt. Cut and hot-glue ribbon along the outline of the tail; attach tail under the edge of body. From yellow felt, cut two wings; from orange paper, cut one belly. From felt or paper, cut or punch circle eye pieces. Assemble the owl, and glue different-size googly eyes on the eye pieces. From yellow and white felt, cut two irregular triangles for the beak; glue together. Glue the wings and belly to the owl body first, then layer on the eyes and beak. Cut a number from two colors of paper, making one larger than the other. Layer them together and attach to the owl tail.
  5. Glue the owl to the bucket, letting the tail hang below the bottom edge.
  6. Make five different buckets and number them 1 through 5.
  7. Line up the buckets and have players stand a short distance away on a designated line to toss the beanbags in the buckets. If a beanbag makes it into a bucket, the player receives the amount of points indicated on the owl’s tail.

Don’t forget to visit Santa’s new family friendly video site to find all of your favorite holiday videos and music!

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September 27th, 2011

Pumpkin Candle Centerpiece

Pumpkin Candle Crafts for the Autumn Holidays from Operation Letter to SantaThis very cute and very easy pumpkin candle centerpiece uses just three items and is very inexpensive to create. You can make these for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

All that is needed is a small to medium sized pumpkin, a 6 inch pillar candle and some faux autumn foliage. You will also need a sharp knife and a marker.


  1. Snap or cut the stem off the top of the pumpkin.
  2. Place the bottom of the pillar candle on the top of the pumpkin and trace it with the marker.
  3. With the knife, cut vertically just inside the traced outline. Discard the cut pieces.
  4. Wash the ink off of the pumpkin after the candle is properly fitted.
  5. Wedge the candle securely in the top of the pumpkin.
  6. Add some fall leaves and autumn foliage as decoration. Or if you are making these for Halloween decorations, use black candles and a few plastic spiders. Very fun!

Using mini-pumpkins with autumn spice votive candles makes for some very nice individual placeholders on the dining room table. Let your imagination go and have a lot of fun with this lovely autumn craft.

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October 28th, 2010

Easy Halloween Party Foods

Easy Halloween Snacks and Beverage Ideas from Operation Letters to SantaA party is not a party unless the fun includes plenty of great food and drinks. On Halloween, this calls for special fare. Getting your costumes together may leave little time to bother struggling with a menu. The last thing you want to do is slave in the kitchen making snacks for the family or party guests. The following are ideas for snacks that you can create using store-bought items and a little creativity.

Beverages – You can always count on everyone being thirsty. All you need is some ordinary drinks dressed up a bit.

Punch – One way to wet their whistle is with punch. No matter what the flavor, you want it to look as scary as possible. Use food coloring to darken the punch (black cauldron bubble) or brighten it (bucket of blood punch). To add to the frightful appearance, fashion eyeballs, fingers, or what have you, out of fruit and ice cream and float your ghoulish creations on top of the punch.

Sodas – Ordinary sodas can take on the ghoulish for one night. Use decorative plastic Halloween cups for your sodas. Add different colored whipped cream to the top and orange, black and purple straws.  For more adult beverages, add new labels to the cans and bottles in keeping with the theme of the night (for instance Witch’s Brew, Dracula’s Ale, Lager Of Lost Souls, or Blood Wine).

Finger Foods –In this case, we really may mean “finger foods.” Start with these ideas and see how spooky you can get.

Witch fingers – This is one of the most popular ideas. You can use sugar cookie dough and shape it onto long, thin strips to resemble fingers. While the cookies cool, press half an almond in one end to look like a fingernail. Use red gel to fashion some dripping blood if you like.

Cupcake creations – If you are short on time, buy store cupcakes and add decorative magic. Black or orange icing plus sprinkles or pumpkin candy works for most kids. For older children, add Gummi worms, dirt sprinkles, and skeleton drawings in the icing or licorice strands to become spider legs.

Scary molds – Jell-O molds have been around for a long time. For Halloween use brain molds and also those for creeping hands or skulls. Instead of gelatin, try cheese to fashion the body part along with creepy add-ins like slivered almonds for scales, strawberry or raspberry glaze for blood. Then serve your scary snack with crackers.

You can get as creepy or disgusting as you want with the menu. The scarier, the better. The best part is that the recipes are easy, with many only requiring you use what you already have on hand or can buy cheaply. These Halloween snacks are creepy creativity at its finest!

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October 18th, 2010

Choose A Halloween Party Theme

SpiritHalloween.comBefore you know it, it will be October 31st. Where will you be and what will you be doing on that date? If you are planning a Halloween party, here are some great ideas to keep your party eerie, frightening, and fun.

Start with Spooky 

Halloween is the one time of year when it is permitted to scare the ‘be-jeebers’ out of everybody. Nothing is off limits; the spookier, the better. Fine tune your scare tactics and bring your most ghoulish dreams to reality with a spooky Halloween party.

Pick a Theme 

You may want your party to revolve around something hideous and creepy, but there are so many variations on that idea. Here are some themes you can use for the different age groups:

Youth Theme Party Ideas 

  • Scary Monster Theme
  • Bad Guy Theme
  • Favorite Movie or Television Character
  • Jack-o-lantern Costume Theme
  • Princess Costume Theme

With kids, the possibilities are endless because they have so many interests, not the least of which is dressing up… for everything!

Teenage Theme Party Ideas 

  • Vampire Party
  • Favorite Undead Character
  • Favorite Ghoulish Mask
  • Twilight
  • Psychedelic

Using the same basic concept for teens as for younger children, you just think of popular television and movie characters and stories and pick a theme. For teenagers, just step it up a notch and give them more bizarre options. Throw out some ideas and let your teen run with it.

Adult Theme Party Ideas

  • So Sexy Monster Theme
  • Murder Mystery Night
  • Re-visit the 60s, 70s, 80s,or 90s
  • Nightie Night Pajama Party

If you are throwing an all-adult party, be sure to plan for a long night. Make it fun and worth the extra effort it takes to plan and execute a costume to fit the theme.  Find a babysitter whose willing to stay into the wee hours so you and your guests can howl at the moon. Couple parties as well as all-girl or guys night parties are especially fun for Halloween. Create some fun with this night away from the stress of work and family responsibilities.

The Planning 

As with any party, the first step is the planning. If Halloween falls on a weekend, great. Otherwise, choose a non-workday and non-school day that’s close to Halloween for the best result. If you pick a day too far before or after Halloween, you will lose the festive feeling. Unlike Christmas, the ‘season’ for Halloween is short.

Halloween falls on the same day every year, so we all know it’s coming, and when!  Sometimes the success of a party boils down to who gets their invitations out first. You will need to send out invitations before the social calendars fill up. Hash out the particulars of your party and let everyone know about the theme so they can get their costumes together.  Once the invitations are out, get the decorations and food planned and ready.  And, don’t forget your own costume!

Pick a theme for your Halloween party this year to make it even more spectacular.  Make the theme scary if you like, or just make it fun.  It doesn’t matter just as long as everyone’s having a good time!

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas 

Each year, people spend hundreds of dollars getting tricked out and trussed up for the spookiest night of the year. We’re talking about Halloween, of course. But, at what cost? You want to keep more money in your pocket, and we want to help you do just that.  Here are some easy Halloween costume ideas that are great for kids and adults alike, and that won’t put your budget at risk.

Kids and Teens Costumes 

When you think “easy” you think readily accessible materials, quick, and very little cost. Never fear, brave parents. You can create great costumes with materials you already have at home.  Very often these costumes are from ideas provided by your kids.

For the younger set, you may very likely need two costumes. Why two costumes? Kids like to dress up for their class Halloween party as well as trick-or-treating. Most kids like having a different costume for each party. After all, part of the fun of the Halloween costume is the surprise, or even shock. Those elements can be lost if the costume is worn twice.

To get started on a costume, look in the kids’ closets. If your kids are like most kids, they have a collection of play clothes including princess dresses, tiaras, cowboy hats, lassos, themed pajamas, and all sorts of accessories. The closets and dress-up bins are treasure troves.

Here’s an example for a young girl who wants to be a princess. If she has ever been to a Disney store or a Disney theme park, she may already have at least one princess dress. Start with that dress as the basis for your costume. Fancy it up with a tiara, a magic wand, and a pair of old shoes sprayed with glitter paint. What you don’t have can be found at the dollar store or in your closet. Try some simple face painting makeup to give her a resemblance of her favorite storybook royalty.

As an example for a teen who wants to be an old time rock and roll star, you may want to raid your own closet. Grab some old T-shirts and tear off the sleeves. Then find old jeans you can cut up and shred a bit. An old wig is fun, too, especially if the costume is more of a ‘heavy metal’ style rocker. Have your teen look through your old albums to get ideas, then go ahead and drag out that big box of old clothes and dig in.

Adult Costumes 

Here is where the process gets easier still. You don’t have to go to a costume shop to rent or buy a witch’s outfit or Dracula costume. It’s time to hit the closet again.

Let’s start with the guys. Do you like gumshoe detectives; Spade, Marlow, Columbo? If you have a long trench coat, all you need is a wrinkled shirt, slacks, a hat, and a fake cigarette. Is surfer dude more your speed? Grab the board, put on your wetsuit and slick that hair up. A pair of silky pajamas and a silky scarf tied around your neck and you are the world’s most famous playboy.

We haven’t left you out, girls. What about your favorite little black dress? Add some spider webbed gloves, stilettos, a long black wig, red lipstick and fangs, and you are the sexy vamp ready for a night of bloodletting. You can also raid his closet and work wonders with one of his old suits. Grab a martini glass and you are the perfect Madison Avenue advertising executive.

Looking your best on Halloween doesn’t have to mean a trip to the costume store to buy an expensive get up. Start with what you have right in your home and accessorize to the hilt. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a costume, you can shop at home and look like a million bucks.

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September 29th, 2010

Low Cost Ideas For A DIY Haunted House
Even adults like to venture into a haunted house at Halloween time. But, why would you want to pay $20, $30, or more to go out and see someone else’s haunted house when you can create one of your own?

It seems like everything has been done before right? Well, maybe not. Most haunted houses have the same goal – to scare the stuffing out of you. Your haunted house can have a different objective: creepy, disgusting, and fun. Halloween can be scary with a nice bit of gross factor, too.

Getting Started at Home

Look around your home. What do you already own that can be used?  Ask the whole family to come up with ideas.  Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Old sheets – Cut them up and wrap them around big styrofoam balls (you can buy them at any craft store). Hang them from the trees in your front yard. For a more dramatic effect, glue glow-in-the-dark eyes and mouths on them.
  • Silhouettes – You can buy these, but if you have old fabric or construction paper at home do them yourself. There are also online stencils you can use to create black cat, pumpkin, witch and monster silhouettes for your windows.
  • Yarn – White, black, and orange yarn can be used to create gigantic spider webs for the yard and the corners of your rooms. Stretch out a few cotton balls across the webs to resemble wrapped prey.
  • Fruit – Peel apples, pears, or even potatoes. Carve deep spooky faces into them. Place them onto a cookie sheet in the oven so that they can dry and shrink. Now, you have just created ghastly shrunken heads you can strategically place around the house.

Heading to the Store

After you have scavenged the house and the attic for items, it’s time to head to the store. Dollar stores and thrift shops usually have awesome accessories: skeletons, spiders, witches brooms and hats, decorative cups, and other appropriately spooky things.

Here are some more ideas for your DIY masterpiece:

  • Spooky lab – Fill mason jars with water and food coloring to make them dark. Float plastic eyeballs, skeletons, plastic animals, plastic severed hands, and other gross items in them and set them on a counter. To lend a spooky appearance, place a tub of dry ice in the room for a foggy atmosphere. Be sure to get plenty though because it doesn’t last long.
  • Strobe light – Use dark colors like red, black, and orange to give off a frightening aura to your rooms. How about creepy crawlies suspended from the ceiling with clear twine? When the strobe light hits, listen for the screams.
  • Ambiance – You’ll want all the feeling of Halloween, so you’ll need a few items to set the mood.  How about food coloring and corn syrup to create blood, glow-in-the-dark paint for mirrors and windows, and CDs of scary sounds and music.

With only a few dollars spent, you can outfit each room of your home to scare even the bravest guests.  Use your imagination and turn your home into an eerie haunted house.

Have a spooky great time!

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